As I continue the saga of the four American girls traveling through Iceland and Norway, we find ourselves with a short time to explore the beauty of the Norwegian countryside. The way we accomplished this was by taking the famous Norway in a Nutshell tour. This tour goes from Bergen to Oslo (or the other way, or a round trip if that’s what you want).

First thing in the morning we hopped on the train out of Bergen. If you’re traveling this way you may want to consider going light on the luggage. Or finding a hot dude to travel with who can lug it around for you. But all was okay and there was plenty of room to store the bags and get great views of the fjords and mountains. At the quaint town of Voss, we changed over to a bus. They were short on busses but these Norwegians know how to move fast and a driver was found tout suite (yes, that’s French but it sounds better than “gang,” the Norwegian word for right away) and a bus showed up for the rest of us who were out-elbowed by the others. The bus drive to Gudvangan took us through some even more picturesque countryside. (I love saying Gudvangen, it’s fun and rolls off the tongue. You should try it.) The real fun was the harrowing sharp, hair-pin s-turns down the steep mountain side. At the bottom of the hill the driver told us to breathe and we all laughed because we actually were holding our breaths. Now off to catch the boat.

Ahh, the boat. This was the part of Norway I was most looking forward to. The fjord tour. As we got onboard we walked through to the other end of the boat, up two flights of stairs and then back again to the other end of the boat to the only space that was left, this little corner in the back of the boat. I planted my butt down and Amy, Jen, and Butter found spaces along the bulk head. At first I was kind of upset that all these tourists had once again pushed their way onto the boat and grabbed all the nice seats up front. I was upset that is until the boat left the dock and then turned around! Poetic justice. We ended up having the absolute premier rock star positions on the entire boat. Our view was straight on unobstructed and it was truly magnificent. Mile after mile, we floated through the water that cut between steep cliffs hosting long, flowing waterfalls. Occasionally we saw houses and farms and wondered how they got their cable.

Some well-meaning but idiot tourists on our boat kept feeding the seagulls that were flying around us. While it did make for some nice photo ops, I vowed to stomp on the bird guy at the first sight of seagull poop. Some of these pushy tourists tried to worm their way into our space but we held tight to our real estate and got excellent photos during the entire three-hour cruise. Once we docked in Flam we had a couple of hours to eat, shop, and play. If you take this cruise/trip you can make plans to stop off overnight at any of these places and take extra fjord tours, or go hiking, or partake in some of the other activities available.

The next segment had us back on the train and up, up, up the mountain. We stopped briefly at a waterfall. Suddenly, some Celtic-like music started blaring out of speakers somewhere and a woman appeared out of the remains of an old stone house. As she danced around the falls and house she seemed like some kind of witch. It was pretty cool. At the top of the mountain, I bought a $13 cup of beer while we waited for our next train on the Flam railway.

The train from Flam took us by crystal clear waters that were formed from the blue and white glaciers dotting the landscape. We ended up going back and forth bus to train to bus to train to bus before arriving back in Oslo. It was a long day but a great way to see the Norwegian countryside if you don’t have time to really explore.

After keeping Amy awake the night before we decided I should get my own room with sound-proof walls. I do believe that aside from those little sleeping holes they have in Tokyo, this was the most expensive square foot of sleeping space I’ve ever had the misfortune of staying in. Seriously, when I spend $250 on a hotel room, I’d like to be able to take a shower without bumping into the sink, be able to not have to hear a concert playing outside until 1 a.m., and be able to get out of bed without jamming my toes into the walls. But I will say that the concierge’s at the front desk were nice and just a little cute, so we had something good to say about the hotel. Breakfast was pretty good too.

So that’s it for Norway in a Nutshell. One more day in the saga to talk about—so stay tuned!

 

 

Near Voss on the Norway in a Nutshell tour.

 

One of the many lush waterfalls on the tour.

 

The scary ride down the mountain.

 

Jen, Butter, and Amy get rock star parking on the fjord tour boat.

 

Along the Gudvangen fjord tour.

 

These guys followed us for awhile.

 

Another beautiful farm along the water.

 

The dancing witch by the waterfall.

 

This glacier flows down blue and white so clear and beautiful.

 

No words needed. On the Flam railway.

 

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